Wants vs. Needs: First-Time Home Buyer Edition

The home market is currently rather small and highly competitive, even among the homes for sale in Lakeland, FL. This means that it can feel overwhelming for a first-time homebuyer to find a spot to call their own. The trick to figuring out all of those variables is to list off everything you would ever want in a home and then organize them between must-haves, nice-to-haves, and so on. In short, set a goal, list off what qualities and amenities your home must have and would be great to have, consult your budget and you will have a much better idea of what to look out for.

The real trick to listing off your features begins with getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you have a mortgage in place, you have a better idea of what your home-buying budget will be and you avoid the depression of finding the perfect spot and discovering that it’s beyond your means.

With your budget in mind, you should now think over everything you imagine being present in the home you call your own and begin sorting them into these slots.


These are the elements that are deal-breakers if the house does not have them.
Examples of Must-Haves: Closeness to your employer, the minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms, central air and heating, etc.


These are all of the things that you would love your home to have but their absence will not be a deal-breaker. If you find a spot that ticks off all of the boxes of your must-haves list and several of the boxes on this list, you may very well have a home worth pursuing.
Examples of Nice-To-Haves: A sprawling lawn, close proximity to a recycling center, farmhouse sinks, cathedral ceilings, walk-in closets, fruit trees on the property, etc.

Dream State

This is the area where you label off all of the things you would want in your perfect dream home. If you find a listing that ticks off all of your must-have boxes, most, if not all, of your nice-to-haves has even one or two items from this list and falls within the budget bolstered with a mortgage, then you have found a listing that you should heavily pursue.

After you have made your list and filtered everything into the relevant categories, you can relay all of these criteria to your real estate advisor. They have the connections to help you narrow your real estate search even more, help you stick to your wishes, and find you that special little place to call home.

In Summary

Figuring out a thorough home search checklist may seem like a trifling matter but it can save you much time and money. This sort of approach is honestly one of the best tricks to success in a competitive market. By working with a real estate professional, you can combine your desires with their know-how in order to find a home that is as close to perfect as your budget allows.